'American Idol' Recap: The Top 30 Revealed with a Twist
'American Idol' Recap: The Top 30 Revealed with a Twist
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
American Idol's Hollywood Week for season 13 is over and now we (almost) have our Top 30. But every season needs a few twists, and this year the judges couldn't decide which of two guys deserved the final spot, so now America gets to vote, leaving us with a Top 31.

See Who Made it to the Top 30 from Wednesday>>

So let's get right into it:

Who's in the Top 30?

C.J. Harris and vs. Casey Thrasher
: The episode starts with the conclusion to the cliffhanger from Wednesday when the judges had to decide between these two Alabama country boys, both of whom sang for their lives and gave it their all.

Harry Connick, Jr. begins by telling Casey that he's in the Top 30. Then, after a quick fake-out, C.J. learns he's ALSO in the Top 30. That's a fairly obvious outcome to the show's manipulative cliffhanger.

Marialle Sellars: We saw her full audition twice, once to open season 13. Then she completely disappeared during Hollywood Week. For her final performance, the judges felt she tried too hard and they've been questioning her ever since they deemed her the frontrunner. Despite that inconsistency, she's still in.

Jena Ascuitto: Her name is pronounced like Gina, but everyone (including Ryan Seacrest and the judges) calls her Jenna. Harry thinks she's a sleeper, and she thinks it's because she took a nap.

Caleb Johnson: The guy who reminds me of Jack Black in High Fidelity made this final walk back in season 11, but was rejected. His final performance was "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons. I wish I was keeping track of how many times that song has been performed this season, because I bet it's at least 20. The judges think he's too much of a cartoon, like a character from Rock of Ages, but they keep him around anyway. But it's worth noting that less than 20 percent of the viewers at home predicted he'd make it on Twitter, so he doesn't have a lot of support.

Ethan Harris: Also known as the lost Osmond Brother, this lanky dude with a high-pitched voice gets the highest praise of all-time from Harry, who calls him "an interesting cat." I think he's more of an adorable little kitten, but either way he's in.

Majesty Rose York: This girl whose last name seems to change every week moves on, despite forgetting the lyrics in her final performance. Clearly the judges had already fallen in love with her and decided she was in.

Briston Maroney: He's 15 with a forced punk/emo-ish voice. He's kind of like a young Alex Preston, except it doesn't seem quite as affected to me. Harry does a fake-out with a story about being 14 and wanting to move to New York after his mom died. Adorably, Briston calls Harry a "wicked man."

Brandy Neelly and Briana Oakley: They go up together, but neither seems to understand how an elevator works. Brandy seems like a shoo-in for this year's pretty blonde country girl while Briana reminds Jennifer Lopez of Jordin Sparks. Unlike past Thunderdome scenarios, they both make it.

Kenzie Hall: She had the insanely awesome Macklemore rap to start off Hollywood Week, but her final performance wasn't all that great. Luckily, that rap was good enough to get her into the Top 30.

The Final Girl

Austin Wolfe vs. Sandie Lee: At the end of the night, there are two girls left and only one spot. The visual difference is astounding: Austin is a tiny white girl who probably weighs as much as Sandie's cleavage. Austin did "Radioactive" as her original audition and her final performance, so there's two more added to the total.

Sandie is eliminated, which means Austin Wolfe is in the Top 30. Part of me hopes she starts dating fellow finalist Sam Woolf, forming the Wolf Pack.

America's Choice for the Final Guy

Ben Briley vs. Neco Starr: The final two guys face the judges with only one spot left. Of course, since the show has already let us know that America will get to vote for the final guy, there's absolutely no drama. It's down to yet another country guy (Ben was the third member of the Backstreet Cowboys from the Group Round, featuring finalists Casey Thrasher and Dexter Roberts) vs. a guy who had to sing for his life in the Hollywood or Home round. Neco was sick before his final performance of Beyonce's "Halo."

It's really a matter of taste. Quite honestly, the Top 30 already has at least three guys each who are similar to both of them. The judges let them know that America will vote to decide which of these two guys makes the Top 30.

Who Got Cut?

Sarina Joi Crowe, Nalani Quintello and David Oliver Willis: These three are lumped together in a quick montage and eliminated.

Savion Wright: He plays a ukulele while walking into the ballroom. The judges thought he started falling as Hollywood Week progressed. When Keith Urban starts by commending him for his original songs, it's obviously going to be a "No," but they want him to come back next year.


Next week it's a three-night, five-hour American Idol extravaganza, with the girls taking the stage Tuesday, the guys on Wednesday, and the Top 13 revealed on Thursday's first live results show.


(Image courtesy of FOX)

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